Canucks seek rare victory in Pittsburgh

( – The Vancouver Canucks will try to pick up their first
win in Pittsburgh in six years when they aim for a fifth victory in six games
Thursday night at Consol Energy Center.

Vancouver has won four of its last five outings and is 2-1-0 so far on a
seven-game road trip that ends Tuesday in Montreal. The Canucks boast a 10-4-0
record as the guest this season, but they will have to earn their first road
win over the Penguins since Nov. 22, 2008 to add another away victory tonight.

Pittsburgh has won two straight and 11 of its past 15 home tilts against the
Canucks. The Pens also have claimed four straight in the series since
Vancouver recorded a home win on Jan. 16, 2010.

Vancouver is coming off Tuesday’s 4-3 win at Washington. The Capitals tied the
score on a Brooks Laich goal at 4:39 of the third period, but Daniel Sedin
record the game-winner for the Canucks just five minutes later. The decisive
goal was the second tally of the game for Sedin and his sixth of the season.

Radim Vrbata had a goal and an assist and Derek Dorsett also scored for the
Canucks. Ryan Miller allowed three goals on 26 shots in the win.

Vancouver went 3-for-4 on the power play against the Caps and the club is
ranked 11th in the league with the man advantage.

“For us to be successful, we need good special teams and of course on the
power play we needed to find a way to score some power play goals and help the
team,” said Vrbata. “We switched some things around in the set up and it paid
off today.”

The Canucks will visit Toronto and Ottawa on Saturday and Sunday,
respectively, before capping the swing in Montreal.

Pittsburgh also has won four of its last five tests and Mike Johnston’s club
earned a second straight victory Tuesday in the opener of a three-game

The Penguins began the residency with a 1-0 win over the New Jersey Devils, as
Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 29 shots to record his league-leading fifth
shutout of the season. Evgeni Malkin gave his goaltender all the offense he
would need by scoring 2:32 into the third period.

“We talked to our team before the game (that) it might be one of those games
where we might have to just will it out in the third period and it was one of
those games,” Johnston said. “It turned out that’s that the way the script was
tonight and we hung in there with it.”

Penguins forward Chris Kunitz missed the game with a fracture in his foot and
will be out for a few weeks. Pittsburgh also is playing without defenseman
Kris Letang (groin) and forwards Beau Bennett (lower body) and Pascal Dupuis
(blood clot).

Pittsburgh defenseman Roberto Bortuzzo also will miss tonight’s game after
receiving a two-game suspension for a late hit on New Jersey’s Jaromir Jagr.

Fleury is expected to start tonight for Pittsburgh. He is 4-2-0 with a 3.05
goals against average in six career games against the Canucks. Miller is
just 7-13-3 with a 3.28 GAA in 25 lifetime games versus the Pens, but he
could get the call in net tonight.